Component or Symbol?

As a new user trying to work through the 5.1 documentation (using 5.1.6 software) I was quite confused when instructed to click on the “Component Library Editor” icon (image of an opamp). There are 3 such icons appearing in Eschema. Hovering over the top one said “Create, delete and edit symbols”.
So I guess they used to be Components but now they are Symbols?
So now I’m supposed to click the New Component icon (Create New Symbol) and “Component Properties” will appear. Instead I get Symbol Editor and a sub-menu “Libraries”.
I eventually worked my way through it all, but for someone new to your software, this kind of mismatch between the documentation and the software is crazy-making.
I’m sure its hard to keep documentation current with ever-upgrading software… just sayin!
By the way, I used gEDA/gschem for years, you guys have done a great job with KiCad…
Just trying to get familiar enough with the differences to be productive!
Thanks!

Yes in the past there was a mix of component and symbol. However, component is misleading to people who come from different software packages. Especially ones that have an entity called a component that is used to make the connection between symbols, footprints and BOM information as well as spice and 3d models.


You are also right that the documentation could use some work. It is one of the weaker parts of KiCad. However, as the community grows so do the resources available. So you might be best off not to use just the official docu but also look for user made tutorials out there.

An example is the FAQ of this forum where i and other regular forum users write down explanations to topics that often come up.

For beginners i recently wrote this one: Tutorial: Introduction to PCB design with KiCad version 5.1 (Getting Started) As a warning it might be a bit slow for someone who is already experienced in EDA (Could still be worth taking a look at as i show a few tricks that might help you along)

And from the text i assume you are already looking into making library assets so these might also be of interest (these are not as slow and go into quite a lot of advanced stuff and detail inspired by my experience as library maintainer)

And this might also be something to look at early on:

As you come from gEda i would assume you are already used to hierarchical design but just in case:

The FAQ is the communities way of helping each other with this kind of thing. We can concentrate a little more on the areas people need help with. Part of the documentation problem is the sheer number of languages supported. It all has to be kept in sync. @Rene_Poschl has done some tutorials that are probably more accurate. Check the FAQ link at the upper right. Welcome aboard. :smiley:

https://forum.kicad.info/t/tutorial-introduction-to-pcb-design-with-kicad-version-5-1-getting-started/20600/8

I agree with Renee. Check the FAQ first for help/instructions. I don’t know how the “included” help is updated but IMHO much of it is out-of-date and the FAQ on this forum is updated much better. Rene contributes much of it, and he does a great job.

Thanks everyone for your helpful suggestions!
I didn’t want to sound whiny, I understand and appreciate the nature of open-source development.
Just hoping my comments might get folded into the hopper whenever some kind soul updates the documentation.